Saturday, April 15, 2006

The conclusion to the infamous night of pain depicted vaguely in the last entry was that Zack's doubts about our ability to stay together stem from his frustrations concerning our sexual life.

It's time to face the vaginismus head-on. I started the weight loss thing as a way to feel better about my body, as a sort of forerunner to dealing with my intimate problem, and while I'm still quite a few inches away from a flat stomach and miles of confidence, twenty-five pounds later, I think i've done enough so that I can knock it out of the position of being my first priority. It's time to take my new body and make it work the way I need it to. It's time to save my marriage, and my life. It's time to do this.

My original plan for tonight was to do some of the writing assignments from my "treating vaginismus" workbook that I've so casually put off, put off by how work-like they seemed. However, in my attempts to locate this book, I became sidetracked with what I found-- my Mr. Hall journals. I remembered one particularly telling entry, written on my eighteenth birthday, that seemed like it would be relevant in a discussion of the history of my vaginismus. I found it, and, having not re-read it, I've decided to type it up, right here, right now. Let's see what was in my mind that night together, shall we?


1:52 AM
Thursday, July 18th 2002

Having been born at around Two AM, the closest approximation I can get is that I turn 18 in 8 minutes. This seems to me, more overwhelmingly than anything else, to be a good reason to start a new logbook.

"Overwhelmingly", on second thought, was not an appropriate word to use there-- what I ewas trying to get at was that no other reaction to this somewhat notable day is taking any particular precedence-- it's the middle of the night, and for lack of being able to sleep, I have spent the last hour or so indulging in a new low-- Late night programming on the Oxygen (TM) Women's Network.

It started out innocently enough with my curiousity and bemusement in "The Sunday Night Sex Show"-- a rerun, obviously, but new to me. The show is basically like Loveline, a show that used to air on MTV based on the premise of two guys, one youngish, Adam Corolla, and one middle-aged, Dr. Drew, discussing very odd sexual things, especially the unique, if not warped, sexual questions of their numerous callers. (I am so frustrated by my large handwriting.) The show was a curiousity to me for years, in an age where I knew far lessabout sex, and the experience of sexual things, than I do today-- which, incidentally, still isn't much beyond the factual and trivial-- and I would look forward to summer nights-- the only time I could afford to stay up as late as it was on-- watching it in my kitchen, with the volume turned all the way down, so very paranoid to be caught mid-caller who was asking if it was unhealthy for him to do "penis tricks", like wrapping his dick around his wrist like a watch. (In all the shows I saw, that call has always stood out the most in my memory.)

"The Sunday Nigh Sex Show" is almost exactly the same as Loveline, minus the male callers and the MTV appeal, except that it replaces the youngish and middle-aged male hosts with a single female somewhere in her mid-seventies. Take your grandmother-- as she was when you were growing up, and not as she is now...which I can only presume is dead-- and picture her talking to women about their sexual secretions and masturbating a rubber penis demonstratively ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. This is the disturbance level of this show. And yet, like a deer in high beams, I sat there frozen in awe and shock, trying to surpress the outburst of what would have been something between a giggle and a blood-curdling scream as the grandmother discussed herself, masturbating in a hot tub.

After "The Sunday Night Sex Show" came some show with a VERY black hostess and a MUCH blacker cohost that I watched merely because it's deceptive advertising led me to believe that it was going to be greatly about porno, as only five minutes of it was. And after that, I hit rock bottom with the better part of a rerun of "Love, American Style."

Managing the intelligence to shut that off, I watched the window for a moment and listened to it rain, thinking by then that it might be a pleasant way to turn 18. But it wasn't-- it was depressing. And the television had been depressing-- to be almost entirely blased to a 70-something-year-old-woman stick her fingers into a talking a great length about a rubber vagina on TV is a sad thing, especially so prematurely as tender age of....17, 364 days, 22 1/2 hours, and certainly none of the shows I'd seen would ever compare to that first clandestine affair I had in my kitchen every summer night with Loveline-- Loveline, which taught me so much, about sex, about relationships, about the dangers of wearing a penis like a watch. It was loveline, or, more accurately, a book based on the show that taught me it was normal that I couldn't, and can't, have an orgasm, and that made concrete my decision to remain a virgin until I was 18.

I think that is what has me truly stressed. Virginity. Sex. Issues and experiences that, very suddenly, I don't feel ready for. I find myself questioning now if my decision to wait for an arbitrary number, my insistance on it wasn't just a way to protect myself from having to face the idea of it. And I find myself wondering if it will be good, if it will be different from the disappointing, scary sexual experiences of my past. I find myself wondering if it will even be bearable, or how much I will cry, or, if I don't, will it be because I want to protect the emotions of my partner-- of Jeff?-- and if, in that protection itself, I'll be made to feel distant from him, bitter that I have to keep my emotions, angry at him-- or towards him, at myself that I can't just stand up and scream I FEEL USED! I FEEL RAPED! I FEEL AS IF TIME AND SPACE AND CIRCUMSTANCE FORCED ME INTO THIS AGAINST MY WILL, AS SOOM SHOWBOAT OF MY WANING AFFECTIONS FOR YOU, AND I HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER! And I would break down, and begin to cry and mutter that I wasn't ready for this, that I took away my own right to choose and that something must be so wrong with me, so very wrong with me, and that I'm broken and impure and nothing's ever gonna be the same again. And then I'd just cry and cry and not be able to say anything, and though he'd have been holding me before, than I'd shirk off his touch and curl up into a fetal position, longing to be whole again, unbroken, pure-- if I ever have been a day in my cognizant life.

But it won't happen that way, and that was the whole point of what I was trying to be saying-- at most, I suspect, I'll shed a single tear, and-- if he notices (a big "if") I'll smile at him, so fakely that I won't even mean for him to know it's not fake and lie in such a way that I'll be baiting him to beg for the truth, but he'll be all too willing to be assured, and so I'll lay next to him, turned away or on top of him so he can't see my face as I always do when I'm deeply, pseudo-privately upset, leaving him to assume, as he always fucking does, that my face gives off some message of contentment, or of mere exhaustion, or something to that affect-- how the hell should I know what he's thinking? I'm not looking at his face, either. I guess I'm assuming, too.

My hand hurts, and my writing is naturally big, something I can only remedy with a concentration that I lacked through those last, emotional pages.

Obviously, my cloudy past is a concern in how I'll feel about sex-- Before it has a chance to be broken by Jeff, I'll need to have a doctor check if I have a hymen, as a step in my slow, ongoing investigation into the world of whatever sexual abuse is buried deep in my defensive self-conscious. the examination of whether or not I have one, in itself, is a very disturbing thing for most girls who have been sexually abused, or so was told to me by the Sexual Assault Crisis Center Drop-In Counselor, Kathy Hance, during the one time I ever saw her, back when the notion to uncover my past seemed more urgent. And if it is confirmed that I have no hymen and, therefore, was probably raped, I have no idea what my reaction to that will be, but my best guess is that, after such news, I will not be ready for sex. (I can only guess that, having read what I've written thus far, your reaction must be something along the lines of the fact that there's absolutely no indication that I'm ready for sex now, in fact there seems every indication that I'm not. I am right there at that conclusion with you, however I am desperately trying to hide the evidence, which is why it's being buried in this journal instead of, say, in an e-mail to Jeff.)

Another source of my anxiety in all of this is Chad. Not having my logbook back from you yet (which would be a hint, were it not for the fact that by the time you read this, you will have returned it...I hope) I have no way of knowing how much you know already about the blossoming relationship of me and Chad amist the pre-lain grass of Jeff and I-- suffice it to say it as concisely as someone like I possibly can, I started feeling for Chad so gradually that by the time I was ready to put a stop to it, it couldn't be stopped, which lead to my trying to kiss him-- against my better judgement-- at his house after his prom, and his stopping me-- NOT against his better judgement-- which lead me to e-mailing Jeff, confessing that there was someone else and that I had a decision to make, which lead to his asking me never to try to kiss Chad again unless I should choose to end our (mine and Jeff's) relationship, which shouldn't have lead to me trying to kiss Chad again and, over the course of weeks, succeeding-- This tmie, against his better judgement and mine-- because I was convinced at this point that I would break up with Jeff because of Chad, despite Chad's assertion that he did not want a relationship with me, not for lack of attraction to me, but for such practical reasons as his impending departure for college.

Star Wars. It was during Star Wars, episode one, while we were the only ones in the theater that my effort of placing my lips around his, sucking, sometimes slipping my tongue into his mouth, and verbally assuring him every time he asked that it was fine, it was okay, there wasn't anything left to lose anymore finally paid off. He kissed me, and he kissed me again, and at some point in the movie I remember he kissed my neck, and I felt elation-- afterwards, we went back to his house and, after some discussion over whether or not there was anything to feel bad about, we made out on his couch.

It was that first night that the notion started dawning on me. Him sitting up, and I sort of straddling him, we kissed and he touched me. He touched me. His hands started at my shoulders, my neck and my hair, maybe, and then down to the part I remember-- sliding over my breasts, not lingering there but just sliding over them to my stomach, filling me with sexual sensation, but in a classy way, a beautiful way. And then he'd slide back up, and after a while-- long enough for me to think I had been dreaming it the first time, down again, over me again, down to my hips, both of his hands in a slow, gentle unison. It started then, and continued when I couldn't stop thinking about those moments that night, and grew when I couldn't stop bragging to Jenn about it, and when, at work, I'd put my hands in my pockets and the feeling of two hands covering the bulges of my hip bone would remind me of him, and by the next time I saw him, and the next time he touched me like that, I was assured-- I wanted, truly wanted for the first time, to make love. And I wanted to give my virginity to Chad.

I've never been one to be all gun-ho for the notion of waiting to find the right guy, but my body and heart were convinced that the right guy had leaped out at me. It seemed almost a trivial detail, in the face of such perfect fate, that I was still with Jeff who, incidentally, I did, and do, love. I assumed I'd tell him and we'd break up-- but by the second time I tasted Chad, it was only a matter of days before the St. Peter's Fiesta, when Jenn, Jeff and I wre all going to Massachussetts together for a week-- I decided that it would indefinitely be best to wait before I sprand the bad news on him, not only to spare a disaster for all three of us, but to pay homage to a great relationship with one last good week.

Because of how soar my hand is, as well as how tired I'm growing, I'll spare details about the week and say merely this-- the time we spent there made a few things clear for me- A., Jeff and I still had the potential to work together if I could get over Chad, B- guilt really, really sucks and C,- despite the fun and love I was sharing with Jeff, I couldn't wait to get home and see Chad again. All of these things in combination were very, very painful and very, very confusing.

I arrived home, at long last, to bad news-- Cody, my ferret, who I had left in the condition of sick was now dead. My initial reaction was to walk around the house in hysterics. My secondary reaction was to call Chad.

He wasn't home. Unable to bear the evening alone, I went to Jesse's and almost cheated on Jeff again in a vulnerable mix of grief and apathy. The next day, when I finally talked to Chad, he gave his deepest condolences on Cody. I asked to see him.

He told me he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend, whom I'd always suspected he had feelings for.

There's a lot more to say about this-- about my heartbreak in general, and Edna St. Vincent Millay poetry, and my status with him now, weeks later, but my hand aches so. Suffice to say, which seems to be a phrase I use a lot, that Jeff still does not know about my infidelity-- I've put off telling him for many reasons, not all of which are mine...but we'll get into that later.

There's no more rain to depress me, and I'm tired so I should sleep, having popped the cherry of yet another logbook with the battering ram of my life. Having come into my eighteenth year like a writer, doing what I do best.

Getting ink all over my hands,


I think that post might have been easier on some of my readers, one in particular, if I had censored it somewhat. But censorship isn't what's going to get me through this.

Quite some time later, my hand still aches from writing that post. I'm going to bed.

On with it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Things have been bad.

Last night was the summit, I suppose, of a proverbial mountain of hardship. Last night, things were said that it will take a lifetime to get over. Last night, I almost lost more than I thought it possible to lose. I experienced a full range of emotion when faced with the reality that the little corner of the world I have carved out and made my own might no longer be mine, might never really have been: anger, hysterical sadness, and more than anything, denial.

I guess I can tell myself that since it seems to have turned out I was right, that he is still in love with me, that it wasn't really denial when I told myself it couldn't be true, it couldn't be true, it couldn't be true. But I'll never really know as well as I thought I knew a day or so ago, anymore.

Last night ended with a drunken man telling me he was sorry, baffled with my enduring, though shaken, love for him; with sitting in the wal*mart parking lot in the car with my mother, who came at 5AM to pick me up, confessing to her that I believe the root of my vaginismus was a childhood molestation; with two messages left via telephone for two of my oldest friends: one, for Jeff, frantic, teary and hysterical, the other, for Jeremey, marked by the eery calm that only comes with the sedate realization that no matter how bad your problems get, there is always one rather ultimate solution.

I won't be the same after last night. I won't take so much for granted, I won't make the same fledgling mistakes. And I won't be able to hear the slightest weakness of conviction in Zack's voice when he assures me that he still loves me without it breaking my heart, all over again.

But I won't let him see it break, either.

Last night, I laid alone in a room, waiting for him to make up his mind, and something occured to me. While I've drawn, evidently, one too many parallels between my intellectual compatibility with Casey and what I have with Zack-- I hesitate before using the word "love", for fear it might be inadequate, for lack of the cocky confidence I once had that surely, it was true-- one more came to mind that I couldn't escape: I lost Casey because there were all these parts to me that he couldn't love or even accept, and I couldn't keep them to my damn self. It seemed, last night, that that may have turned out to be true with Zack, as well.

So I will keep my mouth shut, I will try. And he will have to work long and hard to convince me to open up again, because he is not Casey: Zack is not someone, whom without, I could write long entries about missing to help me deal with the pain. Zack is someone, whom without, it seems I could not write, I could not breathe. It seems to me, that after last night, Zack is someone, whom without, I could not go on.

I feel detached from those words write now: ashamed to write them, and questioning whether or not they are true. Surely, I tell myself, I am a strong and independent person. Surely, I tell myself, I could get over the pain.

But I think back to last night, and watch it like a movie in my mind: not feeling the emotions, because it was only be sheer luck that they didn't kill me the first time...if they didn't. I think back, and I see myself begging, begging for him to assure me that he was still in love with me. Pleading with him, going into denial, assuring myself that as soon as my mother took me out the door, he'd realize the error of his ways. Through tears, I told him, "I'll have my cell phone on the whole time. I want you to realize it's not true, realize you still love me, and when you do, you just call me. I'll be waiting for you to call." I told him, "You married me. You promised me you'd always love me-- that day, and over and over again, and just two weeks ago-- you told me you'd always love me, no matter what. This isn't fair, this isn't possible. You love me, you love me, you love me. It's not possible that you don't love me-- how could you not love me? How could you not love me? How could you not love me? We're supposed to be trees together."

And I kissed his neck as he cried, for seeing what he was doing to me, for seeing how not myself he was. "I'll be waiting for you to call. You just need some time to think-- when you try to go to sleep without me, you'll realize you need me. You'll realize you still want to be trees. You can come get me-- I'll be waiting for you."

I don't feel what I felt last night-- I will not be capable of feeling that again for a long time. I don't feel, right now, that I would be willing to beg him if he was willing to leave me-- but I still have the evidence, sharply focused in the back of my mind. I was not me, for fear we would not be us. I was not me, for fear that he was not him.

I would beg again. I do not like to admit it, but I would.

I am so uneasy. I am so unsure. The things I said to him, the argument that I made. The tears that I cried, and the way that I kissed him, and waited for him, and forced him to look at me-- the things he must of seen in my eyes.

I'll never get over the possibility that he is lying, so that he does not have to see me go through pain. Because of the evidence. Because of what he said last night:

"I care about you, and I don't want to see you get hurt, but..."

on with it.